tv Washington This Week CSPAN April 26, 2014 2:00pm-2:20pm EDT
fantastic job in protecting the flying public. i believe that needs to be a function of government, and they are doing an excellent job. art event was having a law enforcement -- part of it was having a law enforcement project inside. i commend of the work of the police department. he did a fantastic job. very brave police officers that ran into the situation. at the same token, tsa needs a law enforcement affair. my good friend sent the economy would not be looking to the phoenix police department to provide the security of officers he wants to do that. there needs to be some type of law enforcement inside tsa to provide security at that checkpoint. there are still a very large airport parking lots come all this type of things that have to be managed in an airport operation, at which we need to local law-enforcement and the airport law enforcement to.
those checkpoints and tsa, it was one of ours that did not get to go home to his family. >> thank you. i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes -- still have a -- >> we are in your congressional district. we recognize you for any questions you may have. >> thank you, and i appreciate you being here. i would like to thank the committee chairman, the ranking member, richard hudson and congresswoman sheila jackson-lee who is sitting in for organizing this here.
i want to begin by joining with my colleagues to honor the life and service of gerardo fernandez a tsa officer who was killed in the line of duty on november 1. i offer my deepest condolences to his family and friends and want to honor all the tso's and other first responders who risked their lives to stabilize the situation. this hearing follows the release of two reports of the incident, one by the los angeles world airports and the other by the tsa administration. i am concerned about some of what was revealed in those reports. i am not -- because those things that were revealed, whether it is the red telephone or the panic buttons or even the interoperability are things that
can be fixed. i think that ms. lindsay and chief tenant have already talked about a quick response to those kinds of things. they had the resource to do it, and they will certainly knew it. i would like to spend a moment if i may to talk about the need for a consistent law enforcement presence at tsa passenger checkpoints such as the one where officer hernandez was killed. i know that there are differences of opinion about this. what i am anxious to hear it day and in the near future is that the discussion will continue. there may be things that can be tried. there may be alternatives, but what i do not wish to do is to simply have the issue put to rest. i am concerned that there may be
a better mousetrap. i am not sure. following the incident, i discussed airport security issues with leaders of the american alliance of airport police officers. i wrote a letter to the administrator, in which i recognized -- recommended that law enforcement officers be stationed within 300 feet of checkpoints. i have a copy of that letter today, and with consent i will conclude it. i was pleased to learn that tsa was responsive to the concerns that i raised and addressed this issue in its report. tsa recommended standards calling for an increased presence of law-enforcement officers at high-traffic locations within the airport such as peak travel times and checkpoints and ticket counters. tsa still does not require that law enforcement officers be consistently present at these
checkpoints, even during the aforementioned peak travel times. the report on the other time has not addressed the issue. interfax a flexible response process -- approach to security which allows officers to roam around the airport. the fixed approach by contracts requires the police officer to be stationed at each passenger screening checkpoint. airports that support the flexible response approach have argued that this approach provides better visibility of police officers throughout the airport and less predictability for those who are intent of doing harm. a consistent law enforcement presence is a controversial issue. i would argue that the flexible response message are not exclusive. a major airport cannot have police officers at every checkpoint and still have additional officers patrolling the airport.
in the capital comics where we work, in washington, can have please officers stationed as well as additional officers and patrolling the vicinity. i think it is possible for lax. some police departments have also argued that stationing a police officer at every screening checkpoint is just too expensive. i do not accept that particular argument. i do not want to compromise airport security in order to save money by paying for fewer police officers regardless of what the late -- the locals agency is response will for station officer at checkpoints. a consistent presence at these checkpoints is critical. i look forward to a bright discussion regarding security
today and in the future. i firmly believe that we should not adjourn without at least continuing to address this issue. i want to thank the chief or his perspective on this. he gave me a new insight about predictability and the fact that if it is known that there is an officer of the checkpoint they become easy targets. i appreciate that. i want to thank mr. cox. that is why i think it is so important to continue the discussion because we can't be creative and we can try things. i think there is no reason why we cannot take several ideas, try them out, see what works best, but i do not want to give up on this discussion. thank you for allowing me to be here today, and i thank you for the one for sure you gave us
today. it gave us a editor insight. this is an important facility. lax is an economic engine of this area. i appreciate you. i appreciate all of the tremendous responsibility that you have. i want to be part of the solution, not a part of the problem. >> i think that gentlelady. >> thank you, and i want to thank you and the chairman and the ranking member thompson for having this important hearing here today. as someone who travels every week, to and from lax, i feel very safe. as chairman mentioned, we cannot be complacent, and this incident informs us on changes we need to make to improve all of our
security. i want to thank chief gannon and all the men and women who serve with you, who protect us here at lax, and mr. pistole, and all the tsa officers who work very hard every single day and who put their protection or our protection over theirs every single day to ensure our safety. i have to state that when surveying over 200,000 people every single day here at lax, it is likely major public event that takes place every single day. so i want to thank all of the witnesses who are here today and their willingness to answer our questions, and hopefully the tragic death of tsa officer
hernandez and a passenger on november 1 will never happen again. it is incumbent on all of us to work together to identify possible improvements to safety and security for tsa employees and our traveling public. the shooting also raised another serious issue and one that we must address. current law does not provide tsa officers with death benefits like those officer did -- offered to state troopers. i'm just naming a few of the law enforcement personnel who all received death benefits. that is why i have introduced the honoring our fallen esa officers act which seeks to eliminate this in equity. my bill would amend federal law
to provide for the eligibility of a tsa employee to receive the book safety officers' death benefits. as we learned today and the two officers who are here today, and all of the tsa employees who demonstrate current -- courage and bravery every day in hopes of never having another november 1 incident. god forbid that an incident like this ever happens again, as well as the husband of ms. hernandez, but if another tsa officer dies in the line of duty, i believe these benefits
are critically important to their families. with that i wanted to ask mr. pistole, having served in the fbi and now with tsa, what is your opinion on whether tso or tsa officers should be afforded the same benefits as the federal partners that help to secure this country every single day. >> let me thank you for initiating the bill, to recognize tsa employees as public safety officers to receive that and if it. it would eat a tremendous benefit to tsa overall. hopefully it won't never be needed again. i appreciate your initiation of support of that and would help that that would him to fruition retroactively, obviously. and then be programmed it in terms of any future losses. tremendous appreciation and support. thank you. >> thank you very much. i will would appreciate it if you and your organization -- and i know you have -- taken a look
at the bill, if you could take a deeper look at the bill and provide any feedback as we move forward with that, i would appreciate it very much. and i see that my time is almost expired, so i will yield back. >> i thank the gentlelady. i would like to recognize the chairman of the full committee. >> thank you. let me say again to honor our thoughts and prayers. we can never undo what has been done. we want to make you whole again as much as we can. we are determined to help you. to mr. pistole, thank you for the jobs you and your officers do. ms. lindsay, i did not get to
ask your question, but i wanted to close by commending you as well for the model you have created of kawai operation in in your command center. it is important the public be aware of what you have done even before this incident, but more so after it, pulling together the relevant agencies to work to gather to better prevent threats like this from happening. very similar to the joint terrorism task force model where you bring all the relevant layers into the same room with equipment, video equipment, so that god forbid something like this happens again we will be able to respond very quickly and protect the traveling public. with that i will close by saying thank you for your leadership in holding this hearing.
to maxine waters, thank you for hosting us and you're fine district, and you are a lucky woman. the weather is very nice here. thanks for your leadership. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the witnesses for your testimony and members for your questions today. i am committed to working together in a bipartisan way to look at the lessons learned to make sure that officer hernandez did not die in vain, that we can do what we can do as representatives of the people to go forward and make the country safer for the flying public, to assist law-enforcement administrators around the country and the top job they do everyday. thank you for making this possible. i would point out that members may have additional questions for the witnesses and ask that
you respond to these in writing. without objection, the subcommittee stands adjourned. >> mr. chairman -- >> unanimous consent to take care of something i did not take care of? i just really realized that mr. james speer and the other officers who were shot are here, so i want to thank you and i am pleased that you are here and getting back to work. >> without objection, the subcommittee stands adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [laughter] >> and hairy in washington, ec, -- andtol hill, kangas here, in washington, d.c., on
capitol hill, congress is back to work on monday. they will start on standards for releasing information on federal spending and the senate will work on judicial and senate nominations. you can watch the house live here on c-span and the senate on c-span2. coming up on c-span, a discussion with former whistleblowers. then, fcc officials discussed net neutrality and how the government will deal with who controls internet traffic. with"the communicators," russia blackburn, jared polis, and steve scully's. >> are ever on saturday the first conversation i had with a group of people was not about where you are from, what your school is like, but it was about our beliefsitics,
on education and religion. after that moment, i was like oh "wow, this will be intense. the we have talked about politics, our experiences, will we have learned, who we met, and this is an expense i'll never forget. >> i have always been cynical about it. i always thought i could never go that far in politics. it is such a caustic environment. slowly, with different people that i have met, i have chipped away at that opinion, and thought maybe i do want to make a difference and run for something local, state and local in my community because like president obama said yesterday, he told us do not get cynical because this nation does not need more cynical people. that will not help us relieve the problems that we have. >> one of the things that get run up a lot about our generation -- social media. we are able to express opinions easily. we can send a tweet about what
we think, and i think that starts conversations, and we like to talk a lot, so there is conversations, social media, and we like to get our opinions out there. >> i think this whole week has been about learning. i come from a small town where it is very politically homogeneous. chance fort much people that do not think the same to get their opinions out without being ridiculed. being heroes of the delegates has given the opportunity to -- beinger viewpoints here with other delegates has committee opportunity to learn other viewpoints and get my opinions out without being shunned. >> has posted his discuss their participation in a u.s. senate youth program sunday night at 8:00 p.m. on c-span's "q&a." during this month, c-span is pleased to present